When the Santa Monica City Council convenes for the first meeting of the year on Tuesday, Council members are expected to recommend the names for the three Expo light rail stations in Santa Monica.
The names are expected to be approved as follows:
• Downtown Santa Monica (currently assigned Colorado/4th Street)
• Colorado/17th Street/SMC (currently assigned Colorado/17th Street)
• 26th Street/Bergamot (currently assigned Olympic/26th Street)
If Council members give the names the green light, they will be conveyed to the Expo Construction Authority and Metro through a formal written request.
City staff will work with staffs of both agencies through the necessary steps required for consideration by Metro for adoption.
City staff is recommending the station names that identify the station by a cross street or by the district/major attraction that the station serves.
“The Metro Board is responsible for approving station names; therefore staff is recommending that the Council make a recommendation to the Metro Board,” City staff said.
City staff is recommending station names to replace the current Expo Phase 2 names as described below.
Replace “Colorado/4th Street” with “Downtown Santa Monica”:
This station is located in the heart of Santa Monica’s downtown and has been identified as the downtown station since the early days in planning the line. Downtown is served by a large number of Big Blue Bus lines and is a major attractor for local, regional and international visitors. There are, of course, many other destinations close to the downtown station. Metro staff has provided assurances that these locations can be announced over the loudspeaker upon arrival to the station and will be included in all station area maps. Staff will work closely with Metro staff in developing and reviewing the station area maps.
Replace “Colorado/17th Street” with “Colorado/17th Street/SMC”:
The recommended station name at this location combines the two cross-streets with the destination, Santa Monica College (SMC). When two street names are used, Metro’s convention is to first list the street name running parallel with the line. Additionally, this station was added in response to the potential to generate substantial ridership, with Santa Monica College as the primary attractor. Santa Monica College has been a strong advocate for identification in the station name to encourage students, employees and visitors to use transit. Metro staff and Expo staff have expressed reservation about using Santa Monica College in the name because the campus is slightly more than ½ mile from the station and the convention is generally to name a destination only if it’s immediately adjacent. Therefore, staff is recommending using “SMC” in combination with the street names and as the last name in the string of three.
Replace “Olympic/26th Street” with “26 Street/Bergamot”:
Historically this area was identified as the Bergamot district after a station on the Santa Monica “Airline”, the predecessor to the Expo line. Staff found maps dating as far back as 1943 show this name in the title block. More recently the area has become associated with Bergamot as an arts district, with signs identifying it as such on the I-10 Freeway.
Alternatively, the second district name could reflect the more generic emphasis in the LUCE identifying this area as the Creative Arts District. The station could be called “26th Street/Arts District.”